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Posts tagged ‘chicken and orzo soup with lemon and dill’

[Science Words]

Yesterday I came home to find Scott and his friend Doug peering over a bucket in the driveway and cackling like the witches in Macbeth. 

Scott is a physicist, so I’m getting used to experiments in the driveway.  And I’m getting used to conversations that go like this:

SCOTT:     Look what I made!

ME:     Oooh, what is it?

SCOTT:     It’s a bluetooth-controlled/GPS-enabled/nanobot-assembled/sugar-metabolizing [science word]!!

ME:     What does it do?


ME:     Uh huh.  We totally need one of those.

When we moved in together, the man brought lasers and small explosions to the relationship the way I brought a yoga mat and a box of books.  I thought it was cool, too.  I was like, wow, look at this skill he has.  Look at how different we are.  Look at that soldering iron or whatever.   That lasted for about a year.  Now I open the freezer and I’m like JESUS CHRIST, WHY IS THERE A DEAD TROPICAL FISH LOOSELY WRAPPED IN A PAPER TOWEL ON TOP OF THE ICE TRAY?  (He came with a saltwater aquarium, too.)

But like I was saying: I wasn’t surprised to see Scott in the driveway, but I was disturbed by the presence of Doug.  The last thing my universe needs is for Doug to start showing up after work with buckets of chemicals.

I was also disturbed to see that Doug was wearing a ski mask.

So I got out of the car to ask what they were doing and right then, Doug yelled “3, 2, 1. . . GO!” and Scott dumped something into the bucket and –BOOM!–our entire yard filled up with a billowy white gas.  THE. ENTIRE. YARD.

Scott and Doug cheered and I got back in the car as a safety precaution and the guy walking his dog across the street pulled out his cell phone because obviously we were a bunch of terrorists and this was finally his moment to SEE SOMETHING AND SAY SOMETHING.


When the fog cleared, the guys explained a couple things:

One, they had been asked to do a science demonstration at a local elementary school.

Two, they had to practice because they had no idea how many chemicals to use.

And three, could they borrow a trash can and a large pot.

This is why we need to increase education spending, you guys.  Our kids are learning science from two neighborhood dudes, a trashcan and a pot.  

I gave them a trashcan and a pot and then I went inside to watch from the kitchen window as the rest of the experiment unfolded like an amateur World War I reenactment, with lots of gas and yelling and hiding behind trees.daffodilsWhile the battle raged outside, I helped myself to some soup.lemon and dill This soup is a light broth stocked with chicken, orzo, lemon and dill.  It’s perfect for springtime.chicken orzo soup with lemonJust make sure you rinse the pot thoroughly before you starting cooking.  There could be [SCIENCE WORDS] and stuff in there.lemon and orzo soupSpring Chicken & Orzo Soup {Download & Print Recipe}
adapted from a recipe in Bon Appétit, April 2013


1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 large leek, white & pale green parts only, sliced vertically, rinsed, and sliced into 1/2″ thick rounds

2 stalks celery, peeled and chopped

1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat

8 c. low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 c. orzo

1/4 c. chopped fresh dill

2 lemons, for squeezing over the soup at the table


In a large, heavy pot over medium heat, sauté the leek and celery in the olive oil until they’re soft, about 8-10 minutes.  Do not let them brown.  Add the chicken and the broth.  Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Cook until the chicken is cooked through, 15-20 minutes.  Fish out the chicken and put it on a plate to cool.

Bring the broth back to a boil and add the orzo.  Boil uncovered until the orzo is done, about 10 minutes.  In the meantime, shred the chicken with your fingers.

When the orzo is done, turn off the heat and add the chicken and the dill.  If the soup isn’t brothy enough for you, add a little more broth and warm it over low heat.  Taste the soup and add salt and pepper if you think it needs it.  Serve with halves of lemon, for squeezing into each bowl.


Thunder in the sunThe fog has cleared, and Thunder can bask again in the sun on her window seat.